Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Morning Update: October 3, 2012

The Morning Update
The Daily Intelligence Briefing for Conservatives
October 3, 2012


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Election Countdown:
34 days

Today's Crazy Story:
Man Carjacks Driver To Get Pregnant Girlfriend To Hospital
If your car breaks down as you are taking your wife or girlfriend to the hospital, please remember that a carjacking may not be the best way to secure alternate transportation.

On the Hill:
Both houses of Congress are out of session for the final month of campaigning. In the absence of an adjournment resolution, both houses will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays in pro forma sessions.

In the News:
The Debate: Obviously, the big news tonight is the first of three Presidential debates. This American Thinker article explains the truth: the media will spin the debate result to an Obama win no matter what actually transpires in Colorado. My favorite quote: "If Obama were to show up in a clown suit and flip-flops, the media narrative would be that his unconventional attire was a daring and brilliant move designed to challenge the status quo and to reveal his human side, or possibly a laudable effort to make politics more interesting to children." Will anger help Romney win the debate? Or will focusing on the economy be a better tactic?

Taxes: Why does Warren Buffett pay a lower rate than his secretary? It is due to his capital gains income, which is taxed at a lower 15% rate. Thomas Sowell explains why these gains should be handled differently. In addition to Sowell's points, I would also add the impact of inflation on investments. A $10,000 investment in 2002 sold for $12,500 today would not have even kept pace with inflation, but the $2,500 "gain" would be taxed. The lower capital gains rate helps offset the loss due to inflation.

ObamaCare: One way for Romney to distinguish ObamaCare from RomneyCare would be to point out the enforcement mechanism: the IRS. Using what is probably the most-hated government agency could have an effect, but it would likely be a small one. Meanwhile, ObamaCare also taxes us through many indirect taxes, such as the device tax. We may not pay these taxes directly, but we will pay them through increased costs. Finally, Mississippi is facing some grim numbers as it considers the Medicaid expansion. For most--if not all--states, the numbers are probably very similar.

Libya: Is the media starting to notice the White House's incompetence on Libya? If there is still any doubt, take a look at the Jon Stewart video linked in the media section. This administration has been paralyzed by its attempts to do election-year damage control, and its actions have only made Obama look even more foolish. Today, we read that the Obama administration refused requests for additional security in Bengazhi. This sounds like a major failure--and perhaps it is--but we must also be careful not to Monday morning quarterback the situation. Yes, we had breakdowns in the way we handled the situation, but we also had breakdowns before 9/11. Obama certainly did not handle himself like a leader, but we must also avoid heaping extra blame when it does not belong.

Time for a Laugh:
"It's autumn, and a sure sign of fall — the New York Jets have gone into hibernation. Coach Rex Ryan said he's going to give the team two days off this week to rest up. I saw the game Sunday. I think he gave them that day off too.
- David Letterman

At the Court:
The court will hear two cases tomorrow: Johnson v. Williams and Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States.

Tweet of the Day:
Joshua TreviƱo (@jstrevino): In the third full year of his Presidency, Barack Obama is finally being vetted by .... Tucker Carlson and Univision. Okay then.

Debt Watch:
$16,159,487,013,300.35
Up $93,245,605,914.46
(As of October 1, 2012)


Media:
Video of the Day:
Jon Stewart: 'Do they even talk to each other?'

Cartoon of the Day:
Charts at the UN

A Word from our Founders:
"A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation."
- Thomas Paine

Grab Bag:
Union battle moves to California
Weather Channel to name blizzards
Feds purchasing Illinois prison for Guantanamo inmates
Obama disregarding law on sequestration promise
Chicago: the segregation capital
Supreme Court taking a new look at affirmative action
Milk prices could double in January
Romney doesn't appreciate garbage man Romney said he appreicated
The full Univision report on Fast & Furious
NFL owners give to Romney by 3-to-1, then get attacked by TNR

Today in History:
October 3, 1952 - The United Kingdom becomes the third nation to successfully test a nuclear weapon.


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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Morning Update: October 2, 2012

The Morning Update
The Daily Intelligence Briefing for Conservatives
October 2, 2012


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Election Countdown:
35 days

Today's Crazy Story:
Kentucky Restaurant Shut Down After Road Kill Found in Kitchen
A restaurant in Williamsburg, Kentucky, was shut down after employees were seen wheeling a dead deer into the restaurant.

On the Hill:
Both houses of Congress are out of session for the final month of campaigning. In the absence of an adjournment resolution, both houses will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays in pro forma sessions.

In the News:
Fast and Furious: Univision ran an investigative report on Fast & Furious, but the mainstream media ignored it. Even though the American government was unable to track these weapons, Univision had no problem tracing 57 additional weapons to Mexican crime scenes.

The Polls: Take a quick look at the polls and you would feel relatively confident of an Obama victory come November. However, analyze the polls a little deeper and you get a different story. For example, the latest CNN poll shows a 50-47 advantage for Obama, but this is with an 8-point advantage for Democrats. Yet, the "record turnout" of the Democratic base in 2008 only produced a 7-point advantage for Obama. A North Carolina poll shows Obama pulling even with Romney, if you give Democrats an extra 3-percent advantage in the turnout model. Essentially, in order to produce the results these polls are giving, Democrats would have to beat their record-breaking turnout of 2008. Furthermore, polls can only measure the views of those who answer them, and only 9 percent of households dialed are even willing to respond. Since Democrats are generally more willing to answer exit polls, it would make sense that they would also be more likely to answer telephone polls. All of this paints a much better picture than the media wants.

The Middle East: Romney has a new WSJ Op-Ed outlining his plan for the Middle East. "But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values. That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing."

Taxes: Even among proponents of a flat tax, the mortgage interest deduction is one common deduction mentioned as a deduction that should remain (along with the charitable contribution deduction.) However, WND founder Joseph Farah's column discusses why this deduction is a bad idea. However, there is also a hidden Obama tax: inflation. " And when President Obama states he has lowered middle class taxes remember his inflation caused by his reckless overspending has more than offset that in the devalued money you have in your pocket and the prices you pay at the pump and grocery store."

Time for a Laugh:
"A new study in Norway says divorce rates are far higher when men help with the housework and much lower when women do all the chores. How many guys are going to jump on this study? "Honey, I'd like to help with the housework but our marriage is more important."
- Jay Leno

At the Court:
The court will hear two cases tomorrow: Kloeckner v. Solis and United States v. Bormes.

Tweet of the Day:
Erik Telford (@BlameTelford): Pretty sure my donations to Romney campaign have only covered the costs of the several direct mail pieces they send me each day.

Debt Watch:
$16,066,241,407,385.89
Up $51,110,382,823.35
(As of September 28, 2012)


Media:
Video of the Day:
A new ad from American Crossroads details Obama's failed leadership on the Middle East.

Cartoon of the Day:
'Red lines' refer to different things for Obama and Netanyahu.

A Word from our Founders:
"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government."
- Alexander Hamilton

Grab Bag:
Which candidate should you support? Take USA Today's candidate match game
Is Kim Jong Un about to try free markets?
FBI: Membership in a terrorist group is irrelevant
The regulatory burden: $488 billion
Man accuses Atlanta parking officer of ticketing his car for a Romney sticker
USDA met with Mexican officials 30 times to promote food stamps
600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled for lack of skills
How medical licensing laws harm patients and doctors
Is college a lousy investment?

Today in History:
October 2, 1789 - George Washington sends twelve amendments to the states for ratification. The ten that would be ratified would become known as the Bill of Rights.


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Obama Gets Big Endorsement

In an interview that aired Sunday, Obama received a big endorsement: from Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan dictator, who also serves as the head of Venezuela's United Socialist Party, announced in the interview, "If I were American, I’d vote for Obama."

Perhaps this endorsement would be more enlightening if we took a look at some highlights from Chavez's career:
  • He founded a revolutionary movement within the military with the goal of establishing a leftist government.
  • He considers Fidel Castro to be like a father to him.
  • He has established public rights to healthcare, housing, and food (guaranteed by the government, of course).
  • He abolished term limits on all public officials, and he now says he would like to rule until 2030.
  • He defended the regimes of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
  • While he claims he is not a Marxist, he frequently quotes other Marxist writers.
In other words, he sounds just like Obama's type of guy.

Morning Update: October 1, 2012

Good morning, everyone! After much consideration, I have decided to merge several features of the blog into one update, which will be called the Morning Update (at least for now.) This will combine the Final Five, D.C. Daily, and Morning Media posts. I will be experimenting with some different formats over the next several days, so please be patient! If you have any suggestions or feedback, please write to admin@defenseoffreedomblog.com.

The Morning Update
October 1, 2012


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Election Countdown:
36 days

Today's Crazy Story:
Iranian News Agency duped by The Onion
The Onion, a satirical news site, ran a fake story claiming that a Gallup poll showed more Americans would prefer to go to a baseball game with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Barack Obama. Iran's Fars news agency picked up the story and ran it like it was real.

On the Hill:
Both houses of Congress are out of session for the final month of campaigning. In the absence of an adjournment resolution, both houses will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays in pro forma sessions.

In the News:
Libya: What did Obama know and when did he know it? That is the question no one at the White House has any interest in answering. It now appears that the White House internally called the Libya attack terrorism within 24 hours while they continued to argue that it was "spontaneous" publicly. New York Rep. Peter King pointed out that calling the attack terrorism goes against what the administration has said about Al Qaeda. Is he claiming that the Obama administration played politics with Libya? Say it isn't so! Meanwhile, the FBI is still unable to get to the crime scene in Libya because of security fears.

Election: Some good news for Republicans over the weekend. First, Democrat voter registration is down compared to 2008. Next, an AP/GfK poll says that 31% of likely voters identify with the tea party. Hugh Hewitt has analysis of the polling data here. And on the heels of the infamous Obamaphone lady rant, we have this news that the number of these phones have doubled. The cell phone is such an important staple of life; it must be provided free.

Israel and Iran: Seth Mandel at Commentary has a new piece up on Israel's plans to strike Iran. I think the saddest line of this piece is: "...the sources admit to Perry that Israel won’t tell the U.S. what plans, if any, they’ve drawn up for such an attack—obviously aware that the Obama administration will leak that information eventually..." A great article at American Thinker debunks Iran's claims that it's nuclear program is peaceful: Iran is sitting on an immense source of energy, so why would it need more?

Voting Rights: Voter ID is back in the public discussion. Jonathan Tobin breaks down Michelle Obama's latest comments on the subject. The right to vote is not the "most important civil rights issue" in our nation right now. Furthermore, Michigan took an "unprecedented" step on voting rights that now has the ACLU up in arms: it added a question to determine if that person is actually qualified to vote. Now, the ACLU is suing to have the citizenship question removed.

Time for a Laugh:
"A new survey shows how much time we waste every day. For example, we waste seven minutes in line waiting for coffee, 28 minutes getting through airport security, and four years waiting for President Obama to do something about the economy.
- Jay Leno

At the Court:
The Supreme Court begins the new term tomorrow. The court is expected to release orders from the September 24 conference, followed by hearing two cases: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida.

Tweet of the Day:
Ken Gardner (@kesgardner): Is Benghazi acceptable? Fast and Furious? Solyndra? The Obamacare waivers to Obama donors and supporters? If not, vote for Mitt.

Debt Watch:
$16,015,131,024,562.54
Down $706,273,069.83
(As of September 27, 2012)


Media:
Video of the Day:
Special Report does a 9-minute summary of the timeline of the Benghazi attacks.

Cartoon of the Day:
Michael Ramirez relates politics and the NFL referees.

A Word from our Founders:
"A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general.
- John Adams

Grab Bag:
Republican parents star in ads
The courts and Islam
Obama e-card asks mom to pay $18k for birth control
Obama cabinet ignoring 95% of disclosure laws
TSA officer admits theft is commonplace
Obama administration asks contractors to avoid blaming layoffs on sequestration
Counters too tall? You can't do business
The gimmicks of deficit reduction
80% of Americans believe everyone should pay some income tax

Today in History:
October 1, 2012 - Ford puts the Model T on the market at a retail price of $825.


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